West Seattle Habitat Improvement Grants

Sustainable West Seattle has been the recipient of two grants to improve wildlife habitat and water quality, solicited by the Puget Creek Watershed Alliance for ecological restoration in the Puget Ridge neighborhood near South Seattle College.
The first $20,000 grant from King County Wastewater Treatment Division focuses on “Lawn Transformations” to reduce stormwater runoff by improving the soil’s sponge and filtering capabilities. Titled “Clear the Air and Shrink Your Lawn,” this grant intends to reduce lawn mowing that comprises 5% of this nation’s air pollution. By eradicating grass, amending soils, and planting native species, it is hoped these mostly evergreen plants will better intercept winter rains and shade out weeds. Eight properties have had grass removed and plants installed, including a portion of lawn at Sanislo Elementary School. Also, the grant assisted the installation of one backyard rain garden that manages roof and street runoff.
The second $5,500 grant from King County Flood Control District is intended to restore native plant communities on properties with backyard natural areas in the Puget Creek watershed. This grant pays for invasive tree and knotweed removal, and to plant native evergreen trees that will reduce stormwater runoff and create shade conditions for replanting native diversity in the future. Invasive trees include European hawthorn, English laurel, and holly, a plant that is doubling its numbers every six years and is projected to be the dominant species in urban forests within three decades if we do nothing to stop its spread (for information: http://seedrain.org/).
Chosen grant participants will be supported by the restoration contractor, Garden Cycles, to remove invasive plant infestations and assist with planting and plant care.  Garden Cycles’ primary transportation is by bicycle with trailer (http://gardencycles.com/).
Look at the transformation!




Come Down and Explore the Longfellow Creek Trail

Come on down and join Bryan!

Come on down and join Bryan!

Looking for a cool walk this weekend? Consider meeting SWS President Bryan and our friends at islandwood.org as they explore one of our local greenspaces…The Longfellow Creek Trail. This event takes place on Saturday June 13th from 11am-2pm at Greg Davis Park.

This will be a great event to bring your children to. Fun times are to be had, like a water bug investigations, a scavenger hunt, and just playing in the woods!. Hope to see you there!

SWS Team

Here is the flyer if you’d like to download it:

Flyer1- Longfellow


King County Master Gardeners’ Plant Sale

2015 King County Master Gardener Plant Sale will be Sat. May 2, and Sun. May 3. Find plants from Master Gardeners and specialty growers, get free garden design consultations and quick tips, mini-seminars about growing veggies and herbs, personal shopping advice from experienced Master Gardeners, information booths about pruning, natives, roses, and bees by local organizations. Select garden art and more from select vendors. See the veggie catalogs and tomato list at http://mgfkc.org/plant-sale.


Find it all at UW Center for Urban Horticulture, 3501 NE 41st St., Seattle.


Shop ahead of the crowds at the Preview Party fundraiser on Fri. May 1. Pick plants as you enjoy fresh creations from local chefs. Join Ciscoe Morris as he bestows the Golden Brussels Sprouts Award, and Celebrity Chef Roy Breiman, as he bestows the Chef’s Choice Award, along with local garden authors Marianne Binetti and Bill Thorness. Get tickets early at http://mgfkc.org/plant-sale-preview-party. All proceeds benefit the Master Gardener Foundation of King County and the local Master Gardeners.


Rain or shine, we hope to see you and help you start the best garden ever this year.

Love Trees? ….Be a West Seattle Tree Ambassador


The City of Seattle’s reLeaf Program and Forterra are looking to engage West Seattle residents in caring for urban trees and green spaces in Seattle. The reLeaf Program offers free Tree Walk Events, Tree Ambassador training, and Tree Walk Mapping (fun!). Read more below to get involved.

  • Tree Walks: Tree Walks are fun, positive community events that engage neighbors with the trees surrounding them. Tree Ambassadors develop tours to highlight interesting or significant trees in their neighborhoods and lead their walk as a public event. Check out the schedule of upcoming walks or download one of the self-guided walks here. Don’t see a walk in your neighborhood? Become a Tree Ambassador and design Seattle’s next Tree Walk!Tree Ambassadors in this track are given an introduction to tree identification and taught skills in making maps and organizing community events. After the training, staff will assist Tree Ambassadors in identifying good routes, mapping trees on that route, writing accompanying text, and putting together a public event. (Training will take place on Saturday, April 4th 9am-2pm in Ballard).


  • Landscape Renewal: Tree Ambassadors plan and organize small-scale landscape projects in residential areas. Tree Ambassadors “adopt” sites and organize work parties to weed, mulch, and activate these neighborhood green spaces.Tree Ambassadors in this track are taught basic landscaping and site design skills, how to identify and remove invasive species, proper mulching, how to run safe events, and community event organizing. After the training, staff help volunteers identify an appropriate landscape to work in, develop site plans, organize community work parties, and secure tools, mulch, and other equipment. Find a site to love in your neighborhood!  (Training will take place Saturday, April 25th 9am-2pm in Beacon Hill).


There are 3 West Seattle sites and 2 South Park sites as a potential landscape projects for 2015: the SW Andover Street End, the Fauntleroy Way and 36th Ave Triangle, and the SW 98th Street End in West Seattle and the S Kenyon Street End as well as the 10th St and Dallas Triangle in South Park. We are looking for a volunteer steward to adopt these sites and help renovate them (http://www.seattle.gov/trees/landscapes.htm). Are there any Sustainable West Seattle.org readers or volunteers that may be interested in taking on a leading role in the renewal of these site, please forward on this information?

If so, program and application information is all available on our website here: http://www.seattle.gov/trees/treeambassador.htm. If you have questions, please email TreeAmbassador@Seattle.gov.

Thank you for your help getting the word out and helping us find a steward for these great West Seattle and South Park street ends!

If you have more questions, contact:

Lizzy Stone

Forterra | Stewardship Associate


T 206-905-6952 | W forterra.org

Keep it greenie!

Meaningful Movies Saturday Feb.7th

Meaningful Movies follow up.

A very informative series of shorts about urban food in 3 cities across America. The connection between food and social justice became very clear. There were also informative displays about Seattle Tilth, Community Orchard of West Seattle (COWS), and Puget Ridge Edible Park (PREP)
Next month the movie is a very in depth documentary about money in politics.
mmprep mmcowsmmfoodmmpeople





Saturday, February 7
West Seattle Meaningful Movies presents
Urban Gardeners & Social Justice Heroes

We will screen a number of short videos that highlight the work of innovative urban farming leaders who grow food in cities AND help make their communities greener, healthier, more socially just, and happier.

6:30 Doors open for snacks and social time.
7:00 Movies start. Followed by community announcements and a facilitated conversation.

Meet local urban gardeners and hear about their efforts in West Seattle and other neighborhoods.
Learn how you can participate or get support to grow your own garden.

At High Point Neighborhood House
6400 Sylvan Way SW, Seattle 98126
Bus numbers 21 and 128

NO CHARGE, but donations gratefully received.
Help us minimize waste—bring your own mug.

The videos will feature the work of these heroes and others:
Will Allen with Growing Power in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Majora Carter, urban revitalization strategist

Stephen Ritz with Green Bronx Machine, which works with high school students

Ron Finley in Los Angeles

Stu’s News: You and Carbon Pollution!

carbon neutralby Stu Hennessey*

If you have had any concern over the changing climate and the extreme weather events that have been making headlines you have probably felt frustration over not being in a position to challenge the big corporate polluters. The good news is that we are more in control of carbon pollution and its effect on the climate than most people realize.

People like you and I actually emit nearly twice the carbon pollution than industrial America. We also pollute in a manner that is hard to capture. We are non point source polluters. NPSPs. That means the pollution we emit comes from a variety of source points like individual cars or lawn mowers or woodstoves. Our source points are so spread out and numerous that it would be impossible to capture or cap what we emit. Where as a corporate polluter will usually have a single stack or source point that could be capped and sequestered.

We know there are cleaner ways to run the world’s industries but until we can afford a corporate takeover and finance the industrial change-over to clean energy we can only work on our own solutions. I find it very empowering to know that individual education and efforts can reduce nearly two thirds of the world’s carbon pollution. Whether it is by using alternatives to fossil fuel transportation or reducing our home energy consumption or limiting the distance a product we consume travels to the cash register we can make a huge difference. Here are ten ideas you could employ:

  • Reduce your travel emissions by riding a bicycle. Using the transit system or trading in the gas guzzler for an electric vehicle.
  • Reduce your home energy costs by turning down the thermostat or buying a programmable thermostat. Choosing a smaller more efficient home. Switching to LED lighting. Turning off all electric devices when not in use.
  • Shopping Local, buying products that are being manufactured closer to home or have been offered for reuse. Shopping at local businesses near where you live. Smaller businesses with smaller carbon footprints.
  • Eat locally grown food. Join a Community Supported Agriculture subscription. Join a community garden group or P Patch. Turn your yard into your own food supply.
  • Plant trees! Trees eat carbon dioxide and in return release oxygen. Most trees have been removed to make room for our cities. Please replace them.
  • Support government and non government organizations that offer alternatives to the archaic fossil fuel era. We can fast track our independence from fossil fuels.
  • Reduce all forms of consumer waste. Buy bulk! Buy what you need. Buy what will make you less of a carbon non point source.
  • Recycle: This is where we show what gains we have already accomplished. Good Job NPSPs.
  • Compost: Another area where great strides have been made.
  • De-carbonize your image. Our image is important to us but is it a bigger is better image that we should strive for. Is the bigger car, bigger house, wealthy-enough-to-be-carbon-foolish image the one that matters?   Imagine yourself at one with a carbon neutral earth.

* Stu Hennessey is a board member of Sustainable West Seattle and is an active cyclist and member of Spokespeople.  Stu operates and owns Alki Bike and Board in West Seattle’s Admiral District.

EPA Releases ‘Record of Decision’ On Duwamish Cleanup Proposals

Duwamish Cleanup TimelineThe Environmental Protection Agency’s final “Record of Decision” regarding the clean-up of the Duwamish River is here!  Due to the advocacy work of Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition/Technical Advisory Ggroup and input from the communities, the final plan includes a 25% increase in permanent toxic waste removal over the proposed plan.  Now is your opportunity to learn about this important decision, get your questions answered and learn about what is coming next!

There are three upcoming opportunities for you to choose from:

Thursday, January 15, 6:00 pm at South Park Neighborhood Association, 8201 10th Avenue S

DRCC/TAG will be hosting a meeting featuring Dr. Peter deFur.  At the meeting, Dr. deFur will discuss the ROD and be available for your questions.  Light dinner will be available!  Learn more.

Wednesday, January 21, 5:30 pm at Concord Elementary School, 723 S Concord Street

EPA is hosting a multi-lingual open house focused on the Record of Decision.  Community members from South Park will be share information on the Record of Decision in English, Spanish, Somali and Vietnamese.  EPA, Department of Ecology, and DRCC/TAG will be on hand to answer your questions.  Light dinner and childcare will be available! Learn more.

Wednesday, January 28, 6:00 pm at South Seattle College – Georgetown, 6737 Corson Avenue S

EPA will present the Record of Decision with simultaneous interpretation available in Spanish and Vietnamese.  After the presentation, EPA representatives and DRCC/TAG will be available to answer questions.  Light dinner will be available! Learn more.

You can learn more or have questions and comments noted or answered by contacting the DRCC/TAG at contact@duwamishcleanup.org or by calling 206-954-0218.

Train for Challenge Course Leadership, Parks Offering Courses @ Camp Long

CampLongHighRopesSeattle Parks and Recreation worked with Washington State University Extension 4-H to build a “challenge course” in the trees in West Seattle’s Camp Long. In 2015, interested members of the public are invited to join other educators and counselors in learning how to use adventure education to promote team building and personal development in their communities.

The introduction to facilitator training takes place Wednesday through Friday, January 28-30, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The cost is $240. The low-course facilitator training takes place Tuesday through Thursday, March 10 and 12, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The cost is $240. The high-course facilitator training 1 (hub and spoke course with dual ziplines, ropes rescue) takes place Tuesday through Thursday, April 21-23, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The cost is $240. The high-course facilitator training 2 (vertical playpen and trapeze jump, M-Belay systems) takes place Wednesday and Thursday, May 6 and 7, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The cost is $160.

The training location is 5200 35th Ave SW at Camp Long in West Seattle. Camping is available during the training. There are several cabins available for rent for overnight stays at Camp Long, see http://www.seattle.gov/parks/reservations/camplong.htm.

After successful completion of the training, participants will be able to facilitate events at the Camp Long challenge course. The course is designed to meet the 4-H certification requirements to host and facilitate group activities at Camp Long. Certified facilitators receive reduced rates when bringing their own groups. The trainings are designed to sequence together.

At the Camp Long course, several elements of the ropes course are integrated into the forested areas. WSU 4–H, through 30 years of adventure education experience, has developed curricula that strengthen critical life skills including decision making, self-confidence, positive risk taking, self-esteem, teamwork, and leadership.

For more information and to sign up for the challenge course training, please contact Challenge Course Manager Ken Turner at 206-684-7434 or keno.turner@seattle.gov.

Camp Long is one of Seattle’s best kept secrets. Located in West Seattle, this 68-acre oasis in the city offers visitors an opportunity to enjoy nature, hike in the forest, camp overnight in rustic cabins, rock climb, learn about natural history, and visit or rent the rustic Lodge. For more information, see http://www.seattle.gov/parks/environment/camplong.htm.


Washington Department of Ecology Publishes 2014 Tacoma Smelter Plume Annual Report

Tacoma SmelterWashington State Department of Ecology has published the Tacoma Smelter Plume 2014 Annual Report, which is available here.

What is in the annual report? This 20-page report describes how the Department of Ecology is using the $94.6 million Asarco settlement to clean up the Tacoma Smelter Plume. It provides an update on cleanup progress and efforts to manage human health risks. It also includes the accomplishments and 2014 performance measurements from October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014.

What are the highlights from 2014?

  • Completed soil sampling on 1,495 homes in the most impacted areas of the plume.
  • Cleanup of 53 more residential yards with arsenic levels over 100 parts per million.
  • Replaced soil on eight acres of playfields at Vassault Park in Tacoma.

Printed copies of the report are also available. Contact the department if you would like a printed version.  For more information  contact Jill Jacobson Reitz, MPA, Tacoma Smelter Plume-Yard Cleanup Outreach Coordinator, Toxics Cleanup Program, Southwest Regional Office, Washington State Department of Ecology, phone 360-407-6245, or email at Jill.Jacobson@ecy.w

Native Bareroot Plant Sale: Buy Now, Pick Up in February – Trees, Ground Covers

plant-sale-happy-customerThe 2015 King Conservation District announces their Native Bareroot Plant Sale featuring more than three dozen species of native trees, shrubs and groundcovers. All orders placed by the end of November get an automatic 10% Early Bird Discount!

Pick up orders Saturday, February 28th adjacent to the KCD offices at 1107 SW Grady Way, Renton. For a link to the full plant list and details on online ordering, go to our website and click on Shop Now!

Below are brief descriptions of the wide variety of plants available in the King Conservation District Native Plant Sale.

Deciduous Trees
Grace the Northwest
     Deciduous trees light up the landscape with beautiful spring flowers and showy fall foliage, and then lose their leaves to provide filtered light in winter. Many of them provide nectar for pollinators and edible fruits for wildlife.
This year we have four species of deciduous trees which are sold in bundles of 10 for $16. For details and online ordering see Deciduous Trees.

Don’t Forget
Ground Covers!

The seven ground covers in this year’s KCD Native Plant Sale range from sunloving native strawberries to shade-tolerant Oregon grape. New this year are Deer Ferns and Fringecup, both of which prefer moist soils.
For photos and details on each species see Ground Covers.

Some Like it Wet

Moisture-loving Deer Ferns are available for the first time in this year’s sale. They’re included in a selection of more than a dozen species that require damp soils. Some of the plants love full sun, while others prefer deep shade. Details are on our online order form for each species that is Wet Loving.

Edible Berries Provide for People and Wildlife

     This year’s Native Plant Sale includes ten species selected for edible berries. Food-producing plants were an important source of nutrition in native diets. They’re tasty right off the bush for people and wildlife. For details see Edible Berries.